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3. Manuel de Araújo: Mozambique
Many times when free-market advocates speak to a skeptical crowd some familiar illustrations and examples are used to demonstrate the power of markets. One of the most striking and memorable of these is the photograph of the Korean peninsular at night. Another comparison that is often used is that of Hong Kong and China. Hong Kong operates under different economic rules than China, and has had impressive results. The special administrative regions created by the Chinese government offer some of the best examples of how effective markets can be in establishing prosperity.
On Africa’s east coast, in Mozambique, a young mayor might have something similar in mind. Manuel de Araújo is the mayor of Quelimane, located on the Indian Ocean, and is a member of the Mozambique Democratic Movement, Mozambique’s pro-capitalism and anti-communist party. When he became mayor of Quelimane, de Araújo was faced with unenviable fiscal situation and a culture of corruption. However, within a short amount of time de Araújo had managed to double the revenue headed to the town’s council thanks to a crackdown on corruption. Last August he worked with the Language of Liberty Institute to organize a three-day seminar on libertarianism in Quelimane. Let's hope some of the lessons rubbed off.
It may be too much to expect that one mayor in Mozambique will be able to kick-start a classical liberal revolution across a country ruled by leftists, but it would be a great testament to de Araújo if he is able to demonstrate the effectiveness of freedom in a country that has known more than its fair share of big government.